(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday met with around 30 of his relatives – 6 cousins and their families - in the Archbishop’s residence in Turin, and also celebrated Mass with them. Afterwards, they had lunch together. The Holy Father on Sunday made a brief visit to the Church of Santa Teresa, where his paternal grandparents Giovanni and Rosa Bergoglio Vassallo were married in 1907, and where his father Mario was baptized the following year.
A statement from the Holy See Press Office said the Pope made this gesture to reiterate the value of the family, ahead of this October’s Synod on the Family, adding the Pope took time in the Church of his ancestors to pray especially for families and the success of the Synod.
The Statement said Pope Francis viewed his trip to Turin as a “homecoming”, and has been very happy and pleased with the warm welcome he has received, saying it went “beyond his expectations.”